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How to deal with dirty data

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Data doesn’t always show up in your spreadsheet the way you need it. Here are four common data anomalies and suggestions on how to deal with them.

Problem 1: Multiple date formats

Sometimes, you get mixed date formats in a single column. Dates entered properly in a recognized date format are actually numbers. For example, 10/5/2014 is actually the number 41,917. This is known as a date serial number. If we format it as a short date (U.S.) it will show up as 10/5/2014.

Solution 1: Clear Format, reformat

Select the column containing the dates, then click the Clear button and select Clear Formats. You’ll notice all the dates convert to serial numbers. Keep the column selected and choose whatever date format you like.

Problem 2: Wrong case  

Sometimes when data comes in from other systems, it comes in all upper case or all lower case. If what you want is the first letter of each word capitalized, you might have been looking for...(register to read more)

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